De los Santos said there are two barangay captains who were summoned to the Cebu City Police Office wherein a city councilor reportedly confronted them that there are candidates who were lagging in the survey and for them to hang tarpaulins and posters of these candidates.
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De los Santos: Cops sowing fear
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - April 24, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — “Why have our police been striking fear among us when they are the ones who should be protecting us and assuring us our safety?”

This was a question raised by Cebu City Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos, in a privilege speech, on all the alleged harassment of policemen to supporters of the current administration.

During the regular session at the City Council yesterday, de los Santos said he has admired the policemen in uniform in his childhood days.

However, she said the admiration was “tarnished and blemished” in the wink of an eye after several instances in the mountain barangays and some in urban areas wherein policemen are reportedly responsible for several instances that compromised the safety of their supporters and allies.

She narrated all incidents from the February 22 where barangay tanods of Lusaran were shot and killed by the members of the City Mobile Force Company when the two reportedly refused to surrender and

exchanged gunfire with the police.

Another incident was on April 4 wherein armed men peppered the houses of Sudlon II barangay Captain Prescillo Alborez and Sinsin Barangay Captain Aurelio Laspuna with bullets.

On April 12, de los Santos said there were masked men looking for Agsungot Barangay Captain Peter Damaolao in his house. On the same day, she said three unidentified men also went to the water-refilling station and left a live .45 pistol bullet on a bench outside the store.

There were also ununiformed men from the local police who reportedly roamed around and took pictures of the house of barangay Captain Victor Quijano, she added.

De los Santos said there are two barangay captains who were summoned to the Cebu City Police Office wherein a city councilor reportedly confronted them that there are candidates who were lagging in the survey and for them to hang tarpaulins and posters of these candidates.

“The undeniable fact is that all the harassments and violence are directed only to BOPK allies and supporters,” she said, adding that there were also policemen who conducted house to house firearm inspection without search warrant in Barangay Lahug.

“The abuse committed by the police is highly contemptuous and should be denounced in the strongest terms. This after they shot and killed the helpless people in Lusaran and strafed the houses of barangay officials in the mountain barangays,” she added.

De los Santos sent a copy of her speech to Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Department of the Interior and Local Government “so they would know the state of affairs of the city.”

After she delivered her speech, opposition-allied city councilors described the speech as “overacting” since there are policemen who knock on their houses for the firearm inspection even without search warrant.

Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia said the police organization has a list of the people here in Cebu that have registered firearms and that they usually confiscate the firearms because of the election ban.

While saying he is one to condemn violence, Councilor Pastor Alcover, Jr. said he just wondered why de los Santos raised her objections to any violence when it has been a thing several years ago when Mayor Tomas Osmeña reportedly created a team responsible for series of killings.

“My records will speak. Tanang violence even sa panahon ni Mayor Duterte (now President Rodrigo Duterte) ug Mayor Osmeña, gi condemn ko ni siya. But nganong karon paman ka motingog nga asa mani? Do we have evidence to show that the police is involved in the so called violence?” Alcover said.

Without any warrant, Alcover said policemen also went in his house for firearm inspection last month but he just complied with all the requirements asked by the police because he is not doing something illegal.

“In short, normal ra ilang gihimo karon. Wala may kinahanglan nga search warrant kon dili mosud sa balay. Kon toktok lang ka, then mayo ilang pangutana.  There’s nothing wrong. Tingali’g nag overreact lang ta sa nahitabo karon because of political season,” he added.

Councilor Joel Garganera also said it would be unfair on the part of the police when there’s no evidence connecting them to the alleged violence especially the strafing of houses in the barangay captains in mountain barangays.

He said the allegation of de los Santos against the police is very serious. But, de los Santos said she cannot have the same views with Garganera who should respect her views and deliver his own privilege speech if he wants too. (FREEMAN)

MARY ANN DE LOS SANTOS
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